PLANS to build two new beach huts have been approved, despite opposition from the owner of the hut next to the site.
The owner of beach hut number one at Hill Head, Jackie Bohannan, criticised councillors’ decision.
The 49-year-old, from Gosport, said: ‘When we first bought our hut there was no mention of any possibility of another hut being built. I should have been told, I only found out because of a note stuck to a lamppost.’
Councillor David Swanbrow, who sits on the planning committee, said: ‘It’s a scrubby piece of land and I cannot see a problem putting a beach hut there, especially because there is such a long waiting list for them.’
A furious Mrs Bohannan said: ‘That land is not scrubby. We make use of that grass land. We often spread out on it. We get a lot of people gathering on this piece of land with little kids, who use it as a shaded area on hot sunny days.’
Councillor Katrina Trott said: ‘If the land looks scrubby, it’s because it is used. ’
The council has been looking at introducing extra huts across the borough as a money-making exercise, as it charges an annual ground rent of £361 per year for them.
Chairman of the Beach Hut Association Percy O’Dell said: ‘I am not against building more beach huts as long as it is done properly. I am against this as it has been improperly advertised. And why are there not two separate applications being made?’
He said that the association had no problems with replacing beach hut number 48 but that building a new hut, to be numbered 1A at the start of the row, was unacceptable as it would take up land that had not previously been built on.
County councillor Christopher Wood supported Mr O’Dell.
Cllr Wood said: ‘This area is already overcrowded at weekends and in the summer. An additional beach hut would only make this worse. There is no need to further expand the number of each huts at this end of the line.’
Mrs Bohannan said she would be looking into appealing the decision.
‘I waited 20 years for the last hut,’ she said.
‘I’m not having them build on the land next to me. People pay a lot of money for these huts, but to councillors it is clearly just a shed on a beach.’